Gleaves Whitney

Gleaves Whitney, a writer, lecturer, and historian, was named the first permanent Senior Fellow of the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 1995.

Currently Mr. Whitney is director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University in southwestern Michigan. Before his appointment to the Hauenstein Center, he was senior speechwriter and historian for Michigan Governor John Engler. He is also a Senior Scholar at the Center for the American Idea in Houston.

A graduate of Colorado State University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar, Mr. Whitney has done graduate work at the Universität Konstanz (Germany), the University of Oxford, and the University of Michigan.

In 1993 he served on Governor Engler’s task force on education, whose work led to the enactment of far-reaching reforms that the New York Times called “the most dramatic in the nation.” In 2001, he helped establish the new Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries. He currently serves on the Michigan Humanities Council and the State Historical Records Advisory Board. In addition to his work in politics and history, he is gaining a reputation as a leading authority on Catholic humanists in the twentieth century.

Mr. Whitney has written, edited, or contributed to several books, including John Engler: The Man, the Leader & the Legacy (2002), American Presidents: Farewell Messages to the Nation (2002), and the revised edition of Russell Kirk’s The American Cause (2003). He is currently writing a companion volume to Dr. Kirk’s The Roots of American Order, on which he frequently lectures, as well as a book on the historian Christopher Dawson. His op-ed pieces have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Detroit News, The New York Times, National Review, the Christian Science Monitor, Policy Review, Imprimis, and many others.

Photo courtesy of the Hauenstein Center.

The conservative believes that the individual is foolish, although the species is wise; therefore, unlike the confident intellectual, he declines to undertake the reconstruction of society and human nature.

Russell Kirk

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Highlights

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Seminars This Spring

For a long weekend in March, Hillsdale College Honors Students gathered at the Kirk Center to explore the theme “Man as Maker in Moral Perspective.” Professor of Classics Eric Hutchinson guided the students on the complex topics of transhumanism and cloning, followed by readings from Ray Bradbury’s science fiction stories. Although the March winds deterred students from an afternoon walk, they rounded out the weekend with piano-playing and singing at the Kirk house.

Hillsdale Seminar March 2018

On April 26–29, the Kirk Center welcomes this year’s recipients of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s prestigious Richard M. Weaver Fellowships for a seminar about Plato’s writings on education, sponsored by The Liberty Fund of Indianapolis. Since 1964, the Weaver Fellowship Program has identified and supported graduate students committed to freedom-oriented teaching at the college level. This year, fifteen students from across the country were selected as Weaver Fellows. Dr. David Corey, professor of Political Science at Baylor University, and Dr. Richard Gamble, professor of history at Hillsdale College, will lead the discussions.

Apr 2018

Buckley Biographer Visits Kirk Library

The Kirk Center was pleased to host a research visit for prize-winning historian and former New York Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus. Mr. Tanenhaus is the official biographer of William F. Buckley Jr. He made a trip from Connecticut to Mecosta to read the correspondence between Buckley and Kirk while enjoying the pleasant setting of the Kirk Library. Russell Kirk had a four-decades long friendship with Buckley, both admiring the other’s professionalism and contributions to the revival of the conservative tradition in America.

Jeff Nelson, Sam Tanenhaus, Annette Kirk

Apr 2018

Attention attorneys, judges, law students, and interested professionals: Registration just opened!

The Society for Law and Culture will gather to discuss “Moral Imagination and the Law” on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at the Kirk Center. We are pleased to announce the following distinguished speakers: the Hon. Caleb Stegall, Justice, Kansas Supreme Court; the Hon. Stephen Murphy, Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan; Clare Neuchterlein, Distinguished Practitioner Emerita of Law, Valparaiso University; and Allen Mendenhall, Associate Dean and Director, Blackstone and Burke Center for Law and Liberty, Faulkner University.

Society for Law and Culture, 2016 gathering

Formed by Maxwell Goss, a practicing attorney and former Kirk Fellow, the Society for Law and Culture is an organization for lawyers, judges, professionals, and academics that aims to strengthen the ties between law and culture and promote a renewed sense of the law as a vocation and humane profession. For more information and to register please see the event site.

Apr 2018